Green Card Photo Requirements
Why Do I Need Photos for My Visa or Green Card Application?
All visas require photos for identification purposes. To guarantee an accurate image, your photo must be taken within six months of your immigration application.
Also, you should be aware that immigration agencies now sometimes employ the use of fingerprinting and possibly other forms of biometrics to identify persons. For example, the Secure Communities Program uses fingerprints to identify possible deportees.
What Type of Photo is Required?
While some photographers are familiar with the requirements of immigration photographs, it is best to arrive prepared with the most up-to-date information available.
It is important that you follow all the requirements for green card photos. Failure to submit a proper photograph could result in a denied application.
Photograph requirements are generally the same for green card (permanent resident status), U.S. visa, and passports. However, the “Diversity Visa Lottery” category uses different photo requirements.
Photo Size & Type
Photos must be unmounted and measure 2 by 2 inches. While the photo may be in color or black and white, the background may only be white or off-white. Photos with dark, busy, or patterned backgrounds are not accepted.
Your face should cover about 50 percent of the photo and be centered in the frame. You should face the camera directly and not look down or to either side. Side or angled views are not accepted.
The purpose of these photos is to clearly show your face. Therefore, you will benefit from respecting the following guidelines regarding head coverings and accessories:
- A head coverings or hat is only acceptable due to a religious belief, but may not conceal any portion of your face;
- A tribal costume, national dress, or other headgear not specifically religious in nature is not accepted;
- A traditional facemask or veil that does not permit adequate identification is not accepted; and
- Sunglasses or other wear which covers your face are not accepted unless required for medical reasons.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
While an immigration lawyer is most likely not the one taking your immigration photo, he or she can offer you applicable and current information regarding visa or green card regulations and aid you in preparing your application or replacing a lost green card.
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Last Modified: 01-11-2011 01:43 PM PST
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